Communitas is dedicated to affirming, protecting and promoting human rights of people with disabilities.
Our commitment to human rights is evidenced in our core values; we see people as people, and provide a place where everyone belongs, anyone can achieve, and each person plays a meaningful role
Aside from general human rights enjoyed by everyone, people with developmental disabilities have some specifically protected rights. Among those rights are the right to humane and adequate care, to be free from discomfort, distress or deprivation, the right to appropriate communication, the right to self-determination and freedom of choice (including choice of services), the right to meaningful relationships that matter to them, a reasonable expectation of privacy, the right to be safe from free from arbitrary eviction or expulsion from their agency-managed home or day program, the right to be free from unreasonable restrictions, and the right to engage in activities that promote their meaningful participation in the communities of their choice. For more information about human rights of people with disabilities, please visit the DDS Office of Human Rights website.
The right to be free from abuse, neglect or mistreatment.
One of the most important rights is the right to be free from mistreatment. The standard for reporting suspected abuse and neglect is “reasonable cause to believe” which means that mandated reporters need only a “mere suspicion” that abuse, or neglect was committed against a person with a disability. All employees and volunteers of Communitas are mandated reporters. To learn more about reportable abuse or neglect of adults with disabilities, including how to report, please visit the DPPC Website.
Massachusetts Abuse Reporting Numbers
Disabled Persons Protection Commission (DPPC) (24 hours / 7 days a week) Ages 18 to 59
1-800-426-9009 or 1-888-822-0350 TTY
Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) (24 hours / 7 days a week) Ages 60 and over
Department of Public Health (DPH) All Ages residing in Long Term Care Facilities
Department of Children and Families (DCF) (24 hours / 7 days a week) Birth to age 17
Communitas Human Rights System
To answer any questions regarding rights of people with disabilities, please contact Human Rights Coordinator, Kathy Custer at (781) 587-2208.
While all employees receive training in human rights, each program site has an assigned Human Rights Officer with more specialized training. The Human Rights Officer works closely with people supported in their program, support staff and natural support systems to ensure that everyone understands human rights, and that people are encouraged and supported to advocate for human rights for themselves and others.
Human Rights Officers (updated 8/18/23)
|Albion Street||Abraham I.||(781) 587-3131|
|Haven Street||Angela C.||(781) 944-1486|
|Hopkins Street||Carline L.||(781) 944-7317|
|Main Street||Hadijah A.||(781) 665-2884|
|Newcomb Avenue||Michelle C.||(781) 231-7934|
|Pitman Drive||Cat D. (backup)||(781) 944-0302|
|Range Heights Road||Allyson K.||(781) 587-2412|
|Rustic Lane||Michael S.||(781) 942-0484|
|Village Street||Donna P.||(781) 942-1283|
|Water Street||Aminata M. (backup)||(781) 245-0440|
|Woodcrest Drive||Alice K.||(781) 246-1410|
|Individual Home Supports||Susan L.||781) 587-2426|
|Family Support Services|
|Family Support & Recreation||Judy S (interim)||(781) 587-2314|
|Adult Family Care||Heather D.||(781) 587-2362|
|Beverly Day Services||Kirsten K.||(978) 279-2100|
|Woburn Day Services||Kyle P.||(781) 365-1350|
|Wakefield Day Hab||Ali B.||(781) 587-2440|
|Wakefield Career Services||Stephen D.||(781) 587-2440|
Communitas Human Rights Committee
Our Human Rights Committee meets regularly to review our system for supporting human rights, to review any concerns, and to offer support and advice in their area of expertise. The Committee consists of professionals, family members, and people supported in Communitas programs.
|Russell K – Committee Chair|
|Daniel D – Attorney|
|Sarah C – Registered Nurse|
|Grace T – Special Education/Behavioral|
|Pina M – Wakefield Community Advocate|
|Kathleen A – Family Member|
|Tim S – Haven Street|
|Ellen H – Village Street & Wakefield Day|
|Andrea L – Albion Street|
|John H – Rustic Lane & Wakefield Day|